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Justice Department Eyeing Chesapeake

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Justice Department Eyeing Chesapeake
« on: November 06, 2014, 05:43:36 PM »
“Justice Department Eyeing Chesapeake”

Oklahoma City Energy Company reveals investigations in regulatory filing.

Chesapeake Energy Corp. is back in the crosshairs of the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Oklahoma City-based oil and natural gas producer revealed Thursday that is has received subpoenas from federal and state authorities that are investigating Chesapeake’s royalty payment practices, according to a regulatory filing.

Chesapeake also indicated it is cooperating with authorities who are investigating possible antitrust violations related to the company’s leasing of oil and natural gas rights in several states.

Residents in several states have filed lawsuits accusing Chesapeake of underpaying their royalties.

The company declined further comment on Thursday’s filing.

The Justice Department investigated Chesapeake in 2012 after reports by Reuters raised questions of a potential conflict of interest in former CEO Aubrey McClendon’s financial dealings, but it took no action against the company.

The agency also looked into questions about Chesapeake’s dealings with rival Encana Corp. in a 2010 lease auction in Michigan.

Federal authorities opted not to pursue charges against the companies, but the state attorney general filed antitrust charges against them.

Chesapeake is facing trial on antitrust and fraud charges in Michigan related to its leasing activities after Encana reached a settlement with prosecutors.